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Unrest outside Iranian presidential election polling station in Gothenburg

Unrest outside Iranian presidential election polling station in Gothenburg

It became clear on Saturday that heart surgeon Masoud Pezeshkian had won Iran’s presidential election. However, the election process has been heavily criticized by Iranian-Swedish and other exiled Iranians in the West, as only pro-regime candidates were allowed to run.

noisy protests

Outside a polling station in Gothenburg, two groups confront each other. On the one hand, voters who want to take part in the elections and cast their ballots, and on the other, protesters who believe that those taking part are supporting an undemocratic system.

A woman with tears in her eyes shows a picture of her uncle, who she says was executed by the Iranian regime for no reason.

A man on his way to the polling station is greeted with slogans and personal attacks.

“How dare you vote? Dirt!” several protesters shouted as the man opened the door to the polling station.

The man looks at the protesters and tells them he is ashamed of them. He enters the polling station and casts his vote.

Part of a larger movement

Anti-election protesters gathered outside foreign polling stations in several Western countries on Friday, including London and the United States, to protest against voters.

Shiva, a voter, says the tone and attitude has become increasingly aggressive toward voters over the years.

“I've seen this before, many years ago, but I've never seen it this way,” you say.

The police had about ten officers on site to ensure the election went as smoothly as possible.

“There were a lot of emotions, but I still think we stayed within some kind of framework for a functioning democracy,” says Sebastian Berntsen, director of police operations.

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disputed elections

Outside observers have described the election as a sham, with six candidates loyal to the Islamic regime competing.

Iranian expert Arvin Khoshnood in Sweden predicted a record low voter turnout.

– There is no longer anyone who believes that you can influence something by voting, Arvin Kushnud told SVT at the end of June and continued;

– Everyone agrees with each other in essence and ideology. Calling someone a reformist and others more hardline is just a showroom game, according to Arvin Khoshnoud.